Dessert/ Dinner/ Lunch

A Big Belly Smile

Hey guys! It’s Christmas Eve Eve! 🙂

So….Tartine….No words.



Have I ever mentioned that I’ve wanted to go to Tartine for AT LEAST the past 7 years??! I mean, I have the cookbook at home and have lusted after the gingerbread for at least that long. It’s pretty much every pastry chef’s DREAM to go to Tartine and experience the wonders first hand, and today I finally had my chance! After waiting for about 30 minutes in the longest line ever that went around the whole block, my mom and I finally squeezed into the tiny bakery, that smelled of heaven on earth. I ordered a cappuccino (holy YUM!) and we decided to split the grilled ham and cheese sandwich for lunch.
It was probably the largest sandwich I’ve ever seen. Definitely enough to feed THREE people, actually! My mom and I each took one of these sections and saved the third one for my dad because we knew he would be starving coming off his cross country flight 🙂

I was so happy. Ever since I went to Paris and ate grilled ham and cheese there I have been on a SEARCH (hunt, actually) for the perfect replication. Well, this was it. This sandwich ALMOST rivaled the one I had in a bistro in Paris. Everything about it was perfection….the cheese, the ham, the spicy mustard and the chewy fresh baked bread. Words can’t even describe. I’m already planning my return next week. Seriously.
After the longest drive ever back from the city (it should take an hour and took three hours because of holiday traffic….I ate half a larabar out of sheer road rage frustration), we finally arrived at the destination of Zin restaurant for dinner! I brought some fabulous Michel Schlumberger merlot for the table—

And ordered the blue plate special for dinner, which was chicken and dumplings!

I’ve been trying to get over to Zin on a Wednesday night for months now for these dumplings….being from the South, I’m a HUGE (read: HUGE) chicken and dumplings fan. I’m just going to go out and say it might be in my top 5 favorite dinners category. The best I’ve ever had was at this tiny hole in the wall in Dallas, Texas while in college and my old roommate and I were known to road trip 40 miles away to Cracker Barrel during exams just for chicken and dumplings. Serious business I’m talking about.
And, of course, Chef Jeff’s version did not disappoint. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the dumplings were amazing. I love eating southern food in California! Makes my belly and my mouth smile 🙂
For dessert, we split the oatmeal cookie creme brulee and the pumpkin cheesecake:

Get me around desserts and I will fight you for the last forkful. These disappeared in five minutes flat.
Just dropped my parents off at the winery, where they are staying tonight, and I’m about to wrap some presents and head to bed to read. See you in the mornin’!

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  • Alison
    December 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    everything looks amazing! can’t believe the line stretched around the block. it must be fannntastic. enjoy your time with your folks!

  • courtney
    December 23, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    so glad you are able to spend the holidays with your family! merry christmas to all!

  • BethT
    December 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Yeah Tartine! Here’s hoping I can crash your second visit and we can feast on lemon tarts and eclairs!

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    December 23, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Yum, what a great day of food!

  • Danielle (Coffee Run)
    December 23, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Pumpkin cheesecake is quite possibly my favorite dessert. Sounds like your enjoying time with the fam 🙂

  • Karla
    December 23, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I’m so jealous! Tartine sounds amazing!!

  • Rosey Rebecca
    December 23, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    All of your eats today look so delicious! I love your restaurant adventures!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl))
    December 23, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Chicken and dumplings? Yummy!

  • Hillary @ Nutrition Nut on the Run
    December 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I too have the Tartine Cookbook, but have not made it to the bakery yet. I’m so glad you had a great first experience! Enjoy the holiday with your ‘rents…

  • daintyvegan
    December 23, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    That place looks so good and with a 30 minute wait, it MUST be good. The cappuchino looks so pretty and swirly. 🙂

    I wish I could make my food look as pretty as the one’s seen at restaurants.

  • brittany
    December 23, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    jenna, i read every post, though i may not comment, i thoroughly enjoy your blog. so glad you have both of your parentals for the first christmas in a whole new world! happy holidays to all of you! xoxo, brittany.

  • Sarah
    December 24, 2009 at 12:14 am

    That pumpkin cheesecake looks delish! Hapoy Holidays, hope you have fun with your parents!

  • christie, honoring health
    December 24, 2009 at 2:26 am

    mmmm…chicken and dumplings. This reminds me, I need to learn how to make gluten free dumplings.

    Glad you enjoyed your first visit to Tartine!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    December 24, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Nothing beats french ham and cheese or french crepes. I loved my time there and ate it all 🙂

  • Emily
    December 24, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Merry Christmas Eve Eve, Jenna! 🙂 Tartine looks amazing, and I’m so glad you are getting to spend time with your family!

  • Kristen @ Change of Pace
    December 24, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Oh my gosh that sandwich looks incredible. So does dinner though! Glad you are having fun with your mom!

  • AmyJoGo
    December 24, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Do you remember the name of the hole in the wall in Dallas? I moved to the DFW area a year ago. LOVE chicken and dumplins. No ‘G’ on purpose because that’s a yankee thing to include. haha.

    That sandwich made my mouth water and it’s barely 6am. Who says we can’t have lunch for breakfast though???? 😉

  • Kailey
    December 24, 2009 at 5:19 am

    oh my goodness I love what ham & cheese sammies look all buttery and just delicious 🙂

  • Jenna
    December 24, 2009 at 5:29 am

    glad you got to go to tartine with your mom! That ham and cheese looks delicious!
    The desserts at zinliok outta this world!
    Merry Christmas eve!

  • megan
    December 24, 2009 at 5:30 am

    i want to eat everything you ate today. it all looks amazing. I’m hungry just thinking about it!

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    December 24, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Grilled ham and cheese=amazing!!

  • Meredith (Pursuing Balance)
    December 24, 2009 at 5:58 am

    It’s nice to see you and your mom having so much fun together!

  • Mommy Rd
    December 24, 2009 at 6:05 am

    I’m jealous of your parents getting to stay at the winery. Sounds like a great way to start the holiday. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  • eatmovelove
    December 24, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Gosh – where to begin! I want to comment (and eat) all your pictures! That chicken and dumplings and creme brulee – yum. Great photo taking too!
    I think you have the ability to just “BE” Jenna- I wish I find that one day – I wake up in the morning and already am nervous as heck thinking of all I have to do…I just wrote a post on being frustrated in yoga – oye. Have a great couple of days!

  • katherine
    December 24, 2009 at 6:22 am

    Mmmm a good ham and cheese really can’t be beat. Glad you found a great one!

  • Kristine
    December 24, 2009 at 6:23 am

    I can’t take it. I absolutely love everything about this post!!!! AHHH! 🙂

  • Paige (Running Around Normal)
    December 24, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Tartine sounds amazing! So excited for you to finally go 🙂 Glad it lived up to your expectations.
    Have a great Christmas Eve!

  • candice
    December 24, 2009 at 6:37 am

    Beautiful cappuccino—will Tartine make it on my dream list of places to go, too?! I’ve never had chicken + dumplings before. Actually, I’m not really even sure what it is. 😕

    Happy Christmas Eve!

  • Jenny
    December 24, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I loved reading your tweets about Tartine! I knew the pics would be fabulous 🙂

    Dinner looks incredble, happy Christmas Eve!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    December 24, 2009 at 6:54 am

    What a lovely day! That sandwich looks incredible. I’ll have to brave the lines of this purportedly wonderful Tartine when I move back to CA. I will make sure not to bring my diabetic father, though, because his blood sugar would drop dangerously low while waiting in that line. Maybe I’ll just save him a huge chunk of a ham sandwich, like you. Haha.

    Those desserts look outrageously wonderful.

  • Cait (Cait's Plate)
    December 24, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Pumpkin cheesecake?? HOLY YUM! that grilled cheese looks amazing too 🙂

    Have a great Christmas eve with the family!

  • Susan
    December 24, 2009 at 7:12 am

    That grilled cheese looks fab-boo!

  • Lauren @ louisianagrown
    December 24, 2009 at 7:19 am

    The places with the longest lines are always worth waiting for. Glad to see your parents with you. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  • Kelly
    December 24, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Looks so delicious! Glad you are getting to spend this Christmas showing your family around Cali 🙂

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    December 24, 2009 at 7:35 am

    What a fabulous day! The grilled ham and cheese looks amazing.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    December 24, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Looks like a delicious meal! Funny how some meals just stay with you forever, right? I definitely had a few of those studying in France myself.

    Have a great Christmas!

  • ForTheLoveOfBerries
    December 24, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I recently tried Tartine Bakery too!! I heard their lemon tart is a must try so that’s what we ordered! Did you and your mom get a chance to try it? It was divine 😉

  • beth
    December 24, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I love Tartine! I had the same sandwich about a year ago on a visit to a friend and waited in the same atrocious line, but WOAHHHHHH it was worth it!

  • Jolene (
    December 24, 2009 at 8:18 am

    That is a pretty looking latte, and that sandwich looks delish!!!

  • Natalie M.
    December 24, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Hi Jenna,

    I haven’t had the opportunity to read your blog since the healthy living summit took place in August. I started graduate school and life has been quite hectic which means no time for my blogs 🙁
    I hope to catch up with your posts over break. I just wanted to stop by to wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!

  • Jil
    December 24, 2009 at 9:17 am

    That coffee looks so amazing!!! Jealous! Merry Christmass!!!!

  • Devon
    December 24, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I took two of my french friends who were in town visiting to Tartine and both said, “We now can move to San Francisco because this is as good as we have at home.” And both of them absolutely live on bread. I also took my dad there who is obsessed with Ham and Cheese croissants and he was blown away too. They definitely do it right at Tartine. It is no wonder that there are two items on the 7×7 magazines list of 100 things to eat and drink before you die on the list (morning buns and bread straight out of the oven). Hope you do get to go again next week.

  • Rachel @ Shedding It
    December 24, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Ahhh I feel the same way about grilled ham and cheese in Paris!!! Lucky you!

  • Carolyn
    December 24, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Pumpkin cheesecake and I are not allowed to be together anymore. 🙁